Mary Kay joins Ellen MacArthur Foundation Network, aiming to source materials more sustainably

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (AndriiSlonchak)
© Getty Images \ (AndriiSlonchak)

Related tags: circular economy, circular beauty, Mary kay, Sustainability

The beauty maker is among the Foundation’s 10 newest Network members, businesses and institutions tasked with leading the change to a circular economy.

“Mary Kay and the other new members of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Network share an ambition to transform the way they do business.” ​That, according to Joe Murphy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation Network Lead, who shared comments with the press.

“We look forward to supporting them, and facilitating collaboration opportunities with other Network organizations, as they strive to become more circular,” ​he says.

Mary Kay steps into a leadership role regarding circularity in beauty

Circularity is the next phase of environmental sustainability and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation was founded in 2009 to help businesses, policy makers, and academics become leaders in this new economic model. And beauty suppliers and manufacturers have been taking steps toward a circular economy with (and without) the help of the Foundation for some time.

At the start of 2020, the Foundation introduced its Circulytics tool and several of the companies that worked to help the Foundation develop it came from beauty, as Cosmetics Design Editor Deanna Utroske reported​.

Mary Kay’s participation in the Network is a next step for beauty and an opportunity for that company to take a leadership role among brand owners in the circular economy. “The cosmetics and personal care industry is in transition as companies evolve to meet the growing demands for environmentally conscious, transparent operations and cleaner, ethically sourced products,” ​Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operations Officer at Mary Kay Inc., says in this month’s media release announcing the company’s participation in the Network. And, “We’re here for it,” ​she says.

While beauty has made some real progress toward a more sustainable industry model, there is a lot more to accomplish and coordinated collaboration is needed: “While there have been meaningful initiatives implemented throughout the beauty industry — and within Mary Kay itself — there is still so much work to be done to find long-term solutions to the environmental and socio-economic challenges ahead,” ​explains Gibbins.

And she goes on to emphasize that “That’s why we are so excited to be part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to join like-minded organizations in our efforts to ensure sustainable growth for generations to come.”

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation helps business be leaders in the shift to circularity

The Ford Motor Company, International Paper, and Mattel are among the Foundation’s new Network members. As is the Fashion Institute of Technology or FIT, a public college here in New York City very well-known and respected in the beauty industry for its Professional Studies Master's Degree Program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management.

As noted in the new member announcement posted to ellenacarthurfoundation.org, the college’s “programmes foster global innovation and collaboration, and it is keen to work with Network education and industry leaders to develop circular economy research and scholarship.”

Educational institutions, regardless of student age, are a good place to inspire change. And the Ellen MacArthur Foundation knows this and is building a coalition of “businesses, governments, educators, innovators, investors, and beyond.”

“Our network,”​ asserts the organization’s site, “must lead the transition” ​to a circular economy. Interested startups and long-standing businesses can learn more and get involved here​.

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